Readers Write: Mayor’s Great Neck Plaza legacy is a disaster

The Island Now

An open letter to Mayor Celender:

After years of watching the decline of the Great Neck Plaza community, we can no longer remain silent. We live in Thomaston, so we do not have voting rights in GNP, but we pass through GNP whenever we leave our home.

One of the great joys of living where we do is the short walk to the Great Neck train station. Walking to town and the railroad was one of the reasons for our original relocation to Great Neck, as is the case for many others.

The area around the Welwyn Road post office that has been under construction for so many weeks is now almost done. It is ill-conceived and will only contribute to further congestion and inconvenience for those who have to pass though this bottleneck.

You have created an oversized plaza at a traffic circle through which buses will not be able to safely navigate. Drivers who want to go around the traffic circle and head east on Shoreward Drive have to navigate an extremely awkward right turn around a new pedestrian crosswalk cutout that juts out into the road. Two cars cannot safely pass through the reduced roadway width when one is heading west and one is turning east.  It is not safe to walk or cross the street in front of Shop Delight, which you have allowed to expand and create parking and traffic issues in this area. And now you have made it worse. 

We have been stopped on the street by residents and commuters complaining about this severely flawed “improvement.” And now you have the audacity to spend an additional $33,000 of the village’s funds on a “transportation enhancement project.”

If one drives past Shop Delight on Welwyn Road, one is frequently cut off by drivers of both commercial and passenger vehicles who don’t look for approaching vehicles nor stop for pedestrians.

Frankly, we don’t expect a response from you.  We wrote to you at the email address posted on the VGNP website almost three years ago about the dangerously deteriorated sidewalks at the corner of Barstow and Welwyn Roads and never heard from anyone in your office.

Add to this situation the multitude of discourteous drivers, double parkers and oversized delivery trucks that dominate the area around Shop Delight and we now have a very unsafe and congested bottleneck.

The things that made Great Neck Plaza a great community have come to a tragic halt because you have not controlled the growth of disruptive businesses and have failed to attract new, sustainable tenants to the community.

Mayor Celender, this project is your legacy: ill-conceived, problematic and out of step with the needs of the community. It is a perfect match to your tenure as mayor.

Jay and Judi Linden


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